Pin Any File To Taskbar in Windows 10

Out of the box, Windows 7 allows you to pin programs to the taskbar. In later versions of Windows like Windows 8 and Windows 10, Microsoft allows the user to pin folders and settings to Start but not the Taskbar. In this article, we will see how to pin a file to the taskbar in Windows 10.


By default, Windows 10 does not allow the user to pin files to the taskbar. However, there is a trick which can help you to bypass this limitation.

The idea behind the trick to pin files to the taskbar is simple - since you can already pin executable files to the taskbar, you can change the extension of the target file to .exe, pin it to the taskbar and then restore the original extension. The shortcut will remain pinned to the taskbar.

Note: If you are using Tablet Mode, icons of pinned apps and running programs will not appear by default. You should enable them manually.

To pin any file to the taskbar in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Enable the Show file extensions option in File Explorer.Enable File Extensions
  3. Go to the folder which contains the file you want to pin to the taskbar.
  4. Rename the target file (select the file and press F2) and change its extension from, let's say ".txt" to ".exe".Change File Extension 1Change File Extension 2
  5. Right-click the renamed file and select "Pin to taskbar". Pin File To TaskbarFile Pinned To Taskbar
  6. Rename the file and restore its previous (original) extension.Restore File Extension 1Restore File Extension 2
  7. Right-click on the pinned icon on the taskbar to open the context menu. Right Click Pinned File
  8. In the context menu, right-click the file name and select Properties as shown below.Pinned File Taskbar Properties
  9. The Properties dialog will open. Modify the text value in the Target field and change the extension portion to the original file extension. Change Target Path
  10. Click on the Change icon button and select a new icon for your pinned file. Click OK and Apply.Change File Icon
  11. Sign out from your user account and sign-in back in order to apply a new icon to your pinned file. See the following article: Change a pinned app’s shortcut icon on the taskbar in Windows 10.

You are done:

Pin Any File To Taskbar In Windows 10

Note: Once you click the pinned file, a new instance of an associated app will open and its icon will appear on the taskbar. This behavior is by design and it's not possible to change it.

Pinned Txt File To Taskbar In Windows 10

That's it.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

15 thoughts on “Pin Any File To Taskbar in Windows 10”

  1. Great information and it works but I still wonder why they don’t just let you pin anything you want to the taskbar. I don”t get it.

    1. It’s windows…
      It’s not the best operating system, it’s only so widely used because it is “the good old” Windows.
      And it’s very user-friendly unlike Linux (which is better in some ways).

  2. Another nice one. Found you because I was trying to pin the Google Drive folder to the task bar. Your pin a folder article was really helpful.

  3. Dunno how else I could leave support (aside from subscribing on social media) for this very-written and useful article, so just writing this comment.

    Thank you for this, it was very helpful.

  4. You can also simply pin the program that runs the file you want to pin, then via right-cliking and selecting Properties, you can change the path in the Target and Start In fields. And that’s it.

  5. No “Properties” context item of new file on taskbar under Windows 10 Pro RS5 v.1809 and after. A new way will need to be worked out, probably some registry hack of sorts.

  6. After following the instructions, everything seems to work fine, until the next time I log off and back on. The pinned shortcut is gone. I’m trying to open up the personal.xlsb file for Excel 2016. Since I can’t pin the file to the task bar directly, doing this trick seems to work. But the pinned item is gone the next time I boot up my computer.

  7. I tried this process a few times in order to pin a png file to the taskbar in windows 10, and it didn’t work. I followed the instructions closely each time. Any assistance would be most appreciated.

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